Children sometimes have difficulty controlling their thrill seeking impulses and are frequently unaware of their own physical limitations. As a result, many common childhood activities can result in broken bones. Fortunately, bones generally heal quicker and with fewer complications in children than they do in adults, as long as their treatment is carefully monitored. Call a doctor right away you think your child has a broken bone. If you are not sure and need our expertise, we are happy to take a look at your child, and if needed, refer you to a specialist. Symptoms usually include pain, redness, swelling, and refusal to move the arm.
Proper initial care can help alleviate some of the discomfort and make successful treatment even more likely.
- Carefully examine the injury. Do not try to manipulate or straighten the limb. If the bone has broken through the skin, do not touch it. Instead drape gauze over the injury, apply pressure to control the bleeding, and get emergency assistance.
- Immobilize the injury in its current position by making a splint. Place soft padding around the injury and wrap it securely with a ruler, newspaper, or magazine to keep it from moving too much. When securing the splint with cloth or tape, make sure the splint and wrapping aren’t cutting off circulation.
- Once the injury is secure, try to keep it elevated and go to the pediatrician’s office or the emergency room immediately for further evaluation. While waiting to see a doctor, put a wrapped ice pack or ice in a towel on the arm for a few minutes at a time. You can also give Ibuprofen for comfort.
Call 911 if:
- The bone has broken through the skin.
- The arm is bleeding heavily.
- The arm is numb, white, or blue.